Web services to the citizen

Web sites are reaching out and helping citizens with new topics, and with new services

Kids.gov (General Services Administration): No longer
must parents park their children in front of the television set for
a few hours to get some rest. The GSA, through the office of the
Office of Citizen Services, has provided a portal to over 1,300
government resources for children's entertainment and education.
Kids can play games, read about history, even get help with their
homework. (http://www.kids.gov)

Mypyramid.gov (Agriculture Department): While most
citizens know all about the food pyramid, they might be
hard-pressed to say which agency created the idea (Food and Drug
Administration? Health and Human Services?). So by creating a Web
solely dedicated to explaining all aspects of the concept, USDA
lets the consumer skip the middleman, and get directly to food
pyramid goodness. The site allows users to obtain nutritional
information specific to their age, gender and current level of
physical activity. (http://www.mypyramid.gov)

Army Families Online (Army): When a soldier is deployed
to some far-flung region of the world, his or her family often are
left with unanswered questions, particularly in matters dealing
with the Big Green Machine. So the Army created a site that can
help address some of the most common issues, such as child support
and finance issues. The site also provides a forum where family
members can discuss issues. For the past two years,the site has
seen over 200,000 visitors a month. (http://www.ArmyFamiliesOnline.org)

Consumer Action Website (GSA): Your lawn mower starts
leaking oil days after purchase? Some online gift you ordered never
shows up? This handy site helps citizens fight back when they find
themselves the victims of fraud or unacceptably poor service. This
site offers advice and Web aids, such as sample complaint letter,
as well as contact information for locale consumer protection
offices. (http://www.ConsumerAction.gov)

Students Abroad (State Department): Each year over
200,000 U.S. university students travel abroad for foreign study.
Many are leaving the country for the first time for this exciting
experience, and many are traveling unsupervised. Launched by the
State's Bureau of Consular Affairs this spring, Students
Abroad offers information on everything a student would need to
know for the big journey. (http://StudentsAbroad.state.gov)

About the Author

Joab Jackson is the senior technology editor for Government Computer News.


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